(Closed) Big Budget Brides (50k and up)

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 76
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Here’s my break-down, not including smaller, random decor items…


My look (traditional Vietnamese dress, ceremony dress, reception dress, shoes and veil): $4.5k

Make up and hair: (bride, trial, 2 moms, 2 sisters) $1k

His look: (new tux, shirt): $1k

Ceremony venue: my parent’s church, including choir: $1k… My parents offer to pay for this.

Reception venue and catering (350 guests): 2 passed hor d’oeurves, 3 courses meal, alcohol for 4 hour: $33k

Cake (bride’s cake and groom’s cake): $1k

Chocolate fountain and treats: $700

Frozen yogurt station (for cocktail hour): $500

Lunch brunch: (estimate) $3k my parents will pay for this

Rehearsal dinneR (estmate) $2k my sister and Brother-In-Law have gracious offer to pay for this, although we may pick up the tab as well…

Flowers (bridal bouquet, 6 bridesmaids, boutonnieres for groom,6 groomsmen, 2 dads, flowers for 2 moms, 5 church altar displays, 30 centerpieces): $3.5k

Photographer (2 photographers, 12 hrs coverage, 1 photolounge/photobooth for 5 hrs with attendant, engagement and day-after sessions): $5k

Videographer (2 vid, 9 hrs coverage, short films edit and all video footage in Blueray): $5k

DJ, MC and lighting: $2k

Transportation and parking validation for guests: $1k

Wedding party gifts (6 bridesmaids, 6 groomsmen): $1k

Paper products (invitation, escort cards, menu and wedding program) $1.5k

Our flights and hotel (we live in CA, wedding in TX where I grew up): $1k

Wedding rings: $4k


Total: $70.7k excluding honeymoon…

No honeymoon plan in place although we will take 2 weeks off to take his parents and sister, who are flying into the US from Vietnam, around the US which will probably cost us another $4k as well… 

We will be paying for the majority of this, my sister will help with the rehearsal dinner and my parents will help with church cost, the brunch to be served right after the Vietnamese tea ceremony and they will also pay for close family (immediate aunts and uncles’) hotel accomodation which will come about $1k… :)…


Post # 77
924 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 1984

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pisces315:  I’m a little late to respond but I just wanted to say that you don’t owe anyone an explanation of how you can afford your dream wedding. I had a small budget wedding 30 years ago (gulp – thirty years!) because that was what we could afford, my friend had a large, traditional Italian wedding because that was what they could afford. They were different but both served the purpose they were meant to – celebrating the making of a new family. Congratulations and I hope your day is perfect xo

Post # 78
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I’m guessing the total is going to be aroun$65000, never thought I’d be planning that kind of wedding, but my parents are super excited, and have been pushing for bigger things than me! still planning but here it goes so far:

Venue/Food: around $27000, great deal for what they are giving us, gourmet restaurant, custom menu designed by chef with sit downs and full dinners prior to event, premium open bar, bridal suite included.

Photographer: $6300, still looking for videographer, but that will be lower budget, just brief shots hopefully.

Officiant: $600

Cake: $1300

Flowers/lighting/linens: $4500

Dress with alterations: $4100

Hair and Makeup: $300, also going to be covering BMs and MOB and MOG, looking at around $1200

Invites with postage: around $1000, ordred the invites on sale, haven’t put them together

Band: $8500, this one was important to us, want to dance all night!

Post # 79
9581 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

Reviving this thread to see what people are spending on photos. We are splurging in the photo/video category but frankly the whole thing feels like a splurge.

its coming out of money my beloved grandfather was to inherit, but he passed away before he could. Means a lot that in a way he’s paying for my wedding.

were looking at 60k not including rings, honeymoon, rehearsal din. 

Post # 80
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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MrsBuesleBee:  we are spending around 13,000 on photography.

Post # 81
9581 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

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craftylish:  well that makes me feel a little less crazy, we’re spending 8500. Practically a steal lol

Post # 82
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015


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MrsBuesleBee:  yea. boy will that check suck to write. But if your gonna splurge on something, splurge on the photography

Post # 83
6290 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

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MrsBuesleBee:  We’re spending $3600 on photography; that fee includes a pre-wedding shoot with the images on a disc and a signing frame, then unlimitd coverage on the day with all the images on a disc. We have just a single shooter, and albums will be extra (around $800-ish I’m guessing).

Our full break-down is:

Ceremony venue: $920

Chair covers and sashes for 72 chairs: $290

Registrar and marriage licences: $750

Reception venue hire: $960

Catering for 62 day guests (selection of 4 canapes pp; 3 course meal with choices for each course) and 100 evening guests (buffet): $7200

Alcohol (62 x 2 welcome drinks pp plus half bottle of wine and a glass of champagne, or soft drinks for the day; $4k behind the bar for the evening): $7500

Photography: $3600

Stationery and postage (invitations, save the dates, place cards, table numbers, table plan): $1450

Music (string trio for the ceremony and drinks reception; acoustic guitarist for 2 hours; 5 piece band; DJ): $2900

Cake (4 tier plus cutting cake plus 12 gluten-free cupcakes): $640

Flowers (1 bridal bouquet; 5 bridesmaid bouquets; 7 button-holes; 2 corsages; 11 basic table centres; 2 pedestals): $1200

My outfit (dress; cathedral length veil; spare/back-up dress; 2 x pairs of shoes; jewellery; thong): $4000

OH’s outfit (tailor-made 3-piece suit; shoes; shirt; tie): $1400

Mine and my mum’s hair and make-up: $900

Bridesmaid’s dresses (4 x adult; 1 junior): $1700

Bridesmaids gifts: $400

Groomsmen’s gifts: $260

Groomsmen’s ties: $240

Accommodation (night before and night of for us, my parents, and my brother): $2250

Wedding rings: $3250

Honeymoon: $8200

TOTAL: $50k dead.


Post # 84
2268 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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MrsBuesleBee:  That’s really sweet about your grandfather! If the $8.5K includes videography…that’s not so bad, haha. But really, you will have that stuff forever, so it’s one of those things worth the splurge! We are spending $6K on ours, but that is just for her, her services for an extra hour, and all the 4x6s. We decided we would be much more likely to look at the photos hanging on the wall rather than in an album, and put the money elsewhere! The videographer I like is $7.5K, but I don’t think that’s going to happen! LOL


  • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by  crackktheskyy.
Post # 85
9581 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

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crackktheskyy:  it’s 5600 for the photog- 2 excellent shooters, 9 hours, partial film coverage (which is so special and rare these days), USB and printing rights. Very published photog on southern weddings, brides, Martha, SMP etc

2700 for an awesome videographer, 2 shooters, groom micd for ceremony delivering a 10 minute highlight film, full ceremony, and some other edits im forgetting. 

I think for the insanely awesome product these two teams put out it’s a good deal, mostly because they’re based in KY and TN. In the north east they’d def be much more!

Post # 86
9581 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

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crackktheskyy:  keep looking for videographers! I had to really look deep to find one who’s work I loved that was at a price I could swallow and Im so happy I did! 

Wedding Films

Post # 87
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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MrsBuesleBee:  We’re spending $3450 on photography, which includes an engagement session, 2 photographers and unlimited hours on the wedding day. Albums will be extra.

I think we got an excellent deal for where we live and the quality of our photographer. The two other photographers we met with cost between 6,000 and 7,500. We loved our photographers work just as much (he was FI’s favorite), and when we met him, we knew he was the perfect person. The great price was just a bonus.

Still undecided about a videographer. I always thought that I wouldn’t want/need one, but now I’m reconsidering…so we’ll see.

Post # 88
2742 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Disney


barbie86:  Your total and the way it adds up makes me think Disney Wedding :). Those totals and the itemization totals seem familiar 🙂

Post # 89
2268 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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MrsBuesleBee:  Oh yeah we will get the USB and non-commerical printing rights, too! But yeah that sounds like a great deal for well established photographers! 

And the videography is a great deal, too! Those videos are totally drool-worthy. Our second choice videographer is still $5K lol. At this point, we might skip it. I’m not sure yet.


Post # 90
366 posts
Helper bee

I never thought I’d be a “big budget Bee,” but if you include the Honeymoon that really bumps the total.

We’re not having a really elaborate affair but over 1/2 the budget goes to venue/food/booze… the numbers just add up and up and up!

TOTAL – $63,450 (50K not including the honeymoon. HOW did that happen?!?)

My parents are contributing $10K and my ceremony dress and veil. Fiance parents are contributing the rehearsal dinner. We are covering the rest $53,450 (~$39,950 not including the honeymoon).

Here’s our rough breakdown so far (some #’s are estimates. All #s include taxes and gratuities)

$    1,400 – Paper goods (invitations/programs/menus … thank you cards and postage)

$    1,400 – Ceremony (site/officiant/organist/choir)

$  25,000 – Reception for 120pp (facility/tables/linens/décor/5 passed hors d’oeuvres/ 4 course plated dinner/late night food station/cake/open bar, bridal suite included)

$      900 – Reception DJ

$      750 – Transportation (limo)

$   4,000 – Photographer (engagement shoot, 2 photogs, 12 hours unlimited shots, all edited digital proofs with rights, custom 130 image album, highlight slideshow)

$   2,000 – Florist (1 bride bouquet, 1 toss bouquet, 4 BMs bouquets, 7 bouts, 3 corsages, church aisle décor, 6 tall centrepieces, 2 large other arrangements)

$     700 – Makeup artist for 7 women

$      550 – Hair stylist for 5 women

$       50 – Favours (family business supplying, we’re just putting tags on)

$   4,200 – Bridal attire (2 dresses, veil, tiara, jewellery, shoes)

$   2,500 – Grooms attire (custom 3 pc suit, shoes, shirt, tie, accessories)

$   3,000 – Wedding bands

$   1,500 – Rehearsal dinner

$   1,500 – Attendant and parent gifts

$     500 – Miscellaneous items

$ 13,500 – Honeymoon (flights, 2 nights in LA hotel, 28 day cruise, excusions, all related expenses)

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